Les Œuvres de Francois Thevenin (1669)

Les Œuvres de Francois Thevenin (1669)

     

Les Œuvres de Francois Thevenin (1669)

   

Les Œuvres de Francois Thevenin (1669)

     

Francois Thévenin (d. 1656).  

Les Œuvres de Maistre Francois Thevenin 1669. Compiled and edited by his nephew, Guillaume Parthon, eye surgeon to Louis XIV, King of France.

Francois Thevenin was born in Paris. He was a surgeon, a great oculist for his time, and ordinary operator of King Louis XIV. We know only his date of death, November 25, 1656. He left several unpublished manuscripts; a Treaty of Surgical Operations, a Treaty of Tumors, and an Etymological Dictionary of Greek words used in medicine and surgery. Guillaume Parthon, his nephew and Oculist Surgeon to the King, reassembled and published them under the title, Les Œuvres de Francois Thevenin, first in 1658 and a second time in 1669, the volume in our possession. It is written with a lucidity that one rarely encounters in works of this period. Thévenin should be placed among the men who contributed to the progress of surgery.

The Works of Master Francois Thevenin contains Les Operation de Chirurgien's treatment of fractures, hernias, hemorrhoids, scull trepanations, skull traumas, circumcisions, and a separate section on tumors. Thevenin, a highly skilled surgeon, credits his uncle as his initial inspiration for surgery. He notes the extensive training he acquired through rigorous practice. He notes that knowledge of medical terminology and various instruments isn’t enough. One has to invest in manual dexterity and knowledge of anatomy. One has to master the knowledge of various instruments such as lancets, flamettes, scrappers, dilators, rasp files, and needles—some surgical techniques aimed to treat fractures, hemorrhoids, traumas, circumcision, and tumors. The volume also includes a medical dictionary of Greek terms and the treatment of various tumors and inflammation.  

The current copy came into our possession through a donation made by Dr. Andrew I Spielman. The book was acquired by him in 2021 in poor condition (see middle top photo). A prior owner used the book as a “cutting board”. The bookbinding was restored (see top right photo), even though the cover boards were left to show the cuttings as an example of how not to use books.  

Based on research done by Don Ferguson, class of 2026 as part of his assignment in Elective in History of Medicine and Dentistry, 2022-2023. Edited by Andrew I Spielman.

Digital Version